PANAMA CITY – Panama's chief prosecutor says 17 people have been charged with money-laundering in connection with a bribery scheme involving Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.
Kenia Porcell said Tuesday those charged included 8 Panamanian businessmen, five foreigners, three former Panamanian officials and a former private bank official.
As part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, Odebrecht acknowledged paying almost $800 million in bribes to win business in 12 countries.
Odebrecht became the Panamanian government's biggest private contractor, winning $9 billion in contracts over the last 12 years.
Colombia has made two arrests as part of the region-wide probe.
And Argentina said Tuesday it was launching an investigation into the country's spy chief after a news report linked him to the corruption scandal.